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  • 3 weeks later...

Back on topic...

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=540&e=6&u=/ap/20041028/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq_death_toll_5

A recent poll of Iraqi households shows as many as 100,000 civilians may have died in the invasion and occupation.

That link no longer works but as of today, more than a month after you posted that, www.iraqbodycount.com reports numbers of

Min: 14591

Max: 16771

which would certainly be more accurate than a poll.

BTW Nema with these numbers the death rate is still about 3-4 times less than under Saddam.

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Am I right in thinking those figures are simply a manual reported count, and hence a gross underestimate? The figures are definite minima for those killed violently or similar.

Put another way: you could not hope to estimate depopulation in Britain from looking at newspapers and eyewitness accounts

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Is it more wrong to kill 1,000 people than it is to kill 10?

Well, yes, of course it is. Two murders are twice as bad as a single murder, and 1000 murders are 100 times as bad as 10 murders. A single murder is enough reason to bring the murderer to justice, naturally, but more murders give the case a higher priority. As an example, stopping Hitler would be far more important than stopping Jack the Ripper.

(this was entirely off-topic, btw)

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Well that's an interesting issue I think. Of course the outcome of 1000 deaths is worse then 10 deaths, but is the act itself, killing 1000 people instead of 10, more immoral? In other words, how do you measure wich was more evil: Stalin or Mao (or even Jack the ripper)? In cases like these numbers don't enter the equation, you're an evil person, wether you killed 6, 20 million or 40 million. In more simple wording, a thousend dead is worse then 10 dead, but killing a thousend doesn't make you more evil then killing ten. (just IMO)

Maybe this deserves its own topic?

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Well that's an interesting issue I think. Of course the outcome of 1000 deaths is worse then 10 deaths, but is the act itself, killing 1000 people instead of 10, more immoral? In other words, how do you measure wich was more evil: Stalin or Mao (or even Jack the ripper)? In cases like these numbers don't enter the equation, you're an evil person, wether you killed 6, 20 million or 40 million. In more simple wording, a thousend dead is worse then 10 dead, but killing a thousend doesn't make you more evil then killing ten. (just IMO)

In cases of mass murder (of civilians), there's also another question that needs to be answered: When is such killing justified? If it's NEVER justified, then the gallery of inhuman monsters of the 20th century would have to include people like Winston Churchill (for the firebombing of Dresden), Harry Truman (for Hiroshima and Nagasaki), and many others (including the majority of post-WW2 American presidents). The firebombing of Dresden alone killed over 100 times more innocent civilians than the 9/11 attacks, and both acts were carried out for the same purpose (to terrorize the population of an enemy country). Yet people normally don't compare Bin Laden with Churchill...

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The justification of the allied bomb attacks is very questionable- no judge has ever reviewed the case to give clarity on this case. Actually I'm not even sure if any Luftwaffe officer was trialed for bombing London or Rotterdam(I know Goering was trialed, but I think that was for his participation in the Holocaust). However I do know that Karl Donitz, the head of the German navy, was convicted for persuing unacceptable tactics, while several allied commanders testified that they had used exactly the same tactics! We can't say that Donitz was wrong just because he did those things for the German cause, because a lot of senior German officers, including Guderian were never trialed because they were said to have acted like proffesional soldiers. Therefore it would have been consistent to either trial allied officers as well, or not trial people like Donitz who didn't do anything the allies didn't.

If the allied tactics were justified, fine, but at least let judges confirm this and lay out new rules instead of giving opponents the excuse of labeling tribunals as victor's justice.

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Carpet bombing of german cities was an answer to german bombings as well as terror they were spreading between subdued civilians. They thought it would be harder for them to do so, when they would imagine their family burning at home. And for my God, RAF was targeting primarily industrial, infrastructural or military centers, what we can't say about Luftwaffe! Not talking about information papers, which were dropped by allies before each major attack against a civilian target. This is a practice you couldn't even imagine with Germans.

For what fights bin Ladin? For political reasons, to lesser american power. However, then it was a full-scale war for survival of whole nations.

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Am I right in thinking those figures are simply a manual reported count, and hence a gross underestimate? The figures are definite minima for those killed violently or similar.

Put another way: you could not hope to estimate depopulation in Britain from looking at newspapers and eyewitness accounts

I don't doubt that some are missed but media in Iraq fixated on finding as many sob stories as possible so it can't be that much.  Those numbers may be a minima but I have seen little reason to believe the maxima is significantly more.  At any rate its certainly more accurate than polling for a death count because those polled give second-hand information potentially from several different people.  The only statistically sound way to poll for a death count would be to poll both the living and the dead which isn't impossible.

EDIT - Oh, and as to your analogy; ordinary deaths are one thing, but violent civillian deaths are another.  They tend not to go unnoticed.

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If the RAF was targetting primarily industrial targets, then how did they kill over 300,000 civilians in Dresden alone? And are you sure about dropping warning papers over cities, because I never heard of them doing that, except over Hiroshima (by the Americans though).

Consider this though: it used to be standard practice, by German Kriegsmarine also, to rescue survivors from shipwrecks. However once the Americans ordered their pilots to attack German submarines even if they were sailing under the Red Cross, Donitz prohibited his captains from carrying out rescue missions any longer. And to think this was one of the things he was convicted for! That while allied captains acted under the same sort of instructions.

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Dresden were a special action. However, even Dresden was an industrial city. But talking "primarily" I don't mean "only", of course. We can say that bombing of japanese cities (even without counting nuclear attacks) was much more bloody and destructive than Dresden, while here USAAF was really closer to terror warfare, which Luftwaffe showed in smaller scale over London. But it's hard to say, as raised by post-communist teachers, I can't take this objectively: it was showed as terrorism used to counter enemy terrorism, while only Russians fought a honorable fight (what is surely a nonsense).

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  • 1 month later...

You can add 14 more Iraqi civilians to the list of American caused deaths.

http://www.cbc.ca/story/world/national/2005/01/08/iraq-bomb050108.html

"Multi-National Force Iraq deeply regrets the loss of possibly innocent lives," the statement said, adding that an investigation was underway.

I love how they state that they are possibly innocent lives.

Seems everyone in Iraq is guilty until proven innocent. Or killed. Guess USA doesn't care which, and killing them is much easier.

Oops I shot the unarmed Iraqi. Oops USA were torturing Iraqis in jail. Oops no WMD. Oops Iraq was never a threat.

Where's Bin Laden? He must have been in Iraq. Wait! They have not found him yet. Better find another "terrorist" harbouring country to invade. Does North Korea have oil?

Is it just me or was Iraq a more peaceful country than before USA invaded? And it's funny how at the first of the "war" a single USA death made front page news and was talked about on tv lots. Now they just say "20 people were killed today" and most of the casualties are Iraqis as they are being used as "cannon fodder". Guess American public has been desensitised to American deaths. More of a pass

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Actually, only 5, as it says in the header.

Besides, I find this bombing of the house deal to be much less objectionable than other things that have happened in Iraq. Here, I have no doubt that it was not the intention of the USAAF to bomb an innocent civilian household, I have no doubt that this was an accident. However, what I do find objectionable is a case in which an American platoon hazed a pair of what were either captured Iraqi combatants or Iraqi civilians detained for being suspects in some such case. The pair were then ordered to jump off a bridge while the US soldiers laughed. Now, the soldiers testifed that they saw both men standing on the river bank, while the families of the men say they have not seen them since...

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Yah I heard about that.

I mean when US soldiers kill innocent Civilians on purpose, they get to KEEP their jobs and face no "real" punishment.

The owner of the house, Ali Yousef differs, saying the 225-kilogram bomb killed 14 people, including seven children.

According to the owner, 14 people were killed. Of course USA will say that less were killed, they always do.

Did the wedding a year ago turn out to be true? When American Planes bombed a wedding?

USA should hvae had the entire world behind them to do this job. It was basically pointless other than to show the might of the department of defense. The intel was completely wrong, and I hope no one trusts USA intel again.

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Andrew, you do realize that the USA Intel failure has much more dire consequences than your words seem to imply? The United States will not suffer alone for the failure, and nor will Iraq be the only other nation to share the burden. Other nations -- particularly Canada and the United Kingdom -- rely heavily on US intel to perform and carry out their various tasks and agendas. The majority US intelligence is pretty accurate, and is used by many nations throughout the world. Iraq could have had accurate intel, but the issue was so plagued with politics on all sides -- on both sides of the pond -- that no one trusted anyone else, least of all the CIA, el Baredei, and anyone else who thought they knew what they were talking about, so the whole issue devovled into who could call in more favors than anyone else. Naturally, George W. Bush was the winner of that contest. Do not think that this represents a vast failure of the US intelligence community -- I don't care what your country's media likes to tell you because its a cute and novel concept that the US was wrong -- this entire issue [iraq] simply represents what will occur when a decision is so waterlogged with political maneuvering and internal bickering that the issue itself becomes virtually meaningless to the individuals engaged in making a decision about it.

The wedding, no one really knows what happened there, and for every article you find that tells me one thing, I bet I can find one that tells us another.

The US does not always say that less were killed; the United States military only reports confirmed deaths and doesn't really like to speculate. Hell, if I'm allowed to speculate, I can say that the 4,000 missing Americans in the Indian Ocean are all dead and say that that was a worse disaster than 9/11, but since I choose not to speculate, because that often turns out to be not true, I only count confirmed deaths. Besides, what is your point by saying "Of course the USA will say that less were killed, they always do?" I can just as easily as say, "Of course the Iraqis will say that more were killed, they always do." Meaningless arguments, both of them.

Oh! And this really pisses me off... what do you mean that "I mean when US soldiers kill innocent civilians on purpose, they get to keep their jobs and face no real punishment." One, when have US troops killed innocents on purpose. Two, who got to keep their jobs. And three, who faced no real punishment?

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I think I said earlier about the Iraqi police force is connan fodder.

http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0111/p01s02-woiq.html

Oh well.

Agree with you on the "she said he said killed more/less"

http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=topNews&storyID=7272417

About the soldier forcing Iraqis off of the bridge.

FORT HOOD, Texas (Reuters) - A U.S. Army sergeant -- cleared of the drowning death of one of two Iraqis thrown off a bridge but convicted of assault -- was sentenced to six months in a military prison on Saturday.

6 months in prison for killing a person. (and attempting to kill another I might add)

He gets demoted, yet still stays in the military.

I know if I went and forced 2 people at gunpoint to jump off a bridge which kills one, I think I would get more than 6 months. But the military has different punishments.

There is also the debate over when a soldier shot an unarmed Iraqi during a raid or something.

And the video showing us forces in a helicopter shooting 2 Iraqis near a vehicle.

I don't know if these people got to keep their jobs or whether they faced harsh penalties.

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Okay, I'd have to say that you are correct, then. I thought you were referring to the bombing of the house when you said US troops killed innocent civilians on purpose... not to the case in which the Army sergeant was sentanced to 6 months. Anyway, yeah, that's what I mean, that sort of stuff -- the hazing and the murder -- should be the focus of our attention, we shouldn't persecute the pilot of the F-16 who dropped the bomb on the wrong house because his mission brief told him so, we should just make sure we know what we're hitting before we hit it.

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